Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Family of Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn

Pieter Brouwer, the eldest child of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon of Gowanus, Long Island, was baptized on September 23, 1646 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Church. The sponsors at his baptism were "Mr. Paulus van der Beek" (his maternal grandmother's third husband), Willem Bredenbent (then husband of his maternal great-grandmother, and as with Pieter's father, originally from Cologne), Aeltje Braconye (his maternal great-grandmother), and Mary du Trieux (who had no known family relationship to either of Pieter's parents, but was a well known fixture of New Amsterdam society at that time).

Pieter was married sometime before 1673 (no record of the marriage survives) to Petronella Kleyn (or Cliene, Cleyn, etc.), a daughter of Uldrick Kleyn and Baefje Pieters. Her father was originally from Hesse (a state in present day Germany), while her mother was born in Amsterdam. The couple lived at Beverwijck/Albany, New York, where Petronella was likely born (no record of her baptism survives).

After their marriage it appears that Pieter and Petronella first lived at Schenectady, New York. The marriage records of their eldest two sons, Uldrick and Abraham, mention the place of birth for both as "Schoonegte" which would refer to Schenectady. By 1679 the family was living at Gowanus on Long Island when both Pieter and Petronella were admitted as members of the Reformed Church at Flatbush. In September 1687, Pieter took the oath of allegiance at Brooklyn, where he is called a "native" (i.e. born in this country). In 1690, Pieter Brouwer was among those from Kings County, Long Island who were raised to form a militia to be sent to Albany (his youngest brother Nicholas was also a member of this militia). By October 1700 Pieter was living at East Jersey when he is stated as such in a deed in which Pieter conveys his share of the mill property at Gowanus to his brothers Abraham and Nicholas. This is the last known record of Pieter Brouwer. Dates or places of death for either Pieter or his wife Petronella have not been discovered. Three of the youngest children of this family (Cornelia, Jacob and Maria) all began and lived their adult lives in the vicinity of Albany, New York. It is conceivable that Pieter and Petronella moved some time shortly after 1700 to the Albany area (Petronella's original home) bringing the youngest children with them. On 3 March 1723, a Petrus Brouwer, along with Hendrick Oothout, stood as sponsors for the baptism of Hendrick, son of Claes Bovy and Cornelia Brouwer. This child, Hendrick, was a grandson of Pieter Brouwer, and if the "Petrus Brouwer" named as a sponsor and Pieter Brouwer are one and the same, it would show that Pieter was alive in 1723, and would have been 77 years old.

Of the fourteen children of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon who reached adulthood, Pieter likely has the largest number of documented descendants. At least it appears that way (no formal statistical study has been done). This is largely due to the fact that the ten children of Pieter and Petronella settled either in Bergen County, New Jersey or Albany, New York, two places where Reformed Church records (Hackensack, Schraalenburgh and Aquackanonk in Bergen and Essex Cos., New Jersey, and the Albany Reformed Church) are largely complete through the 1700s. A number of the other children of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon settled in areas such as Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York, and Monmouth, Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, New Jersey, areas where the Reformed Church records are less complete.

Additional details and source citations for Pieter, his wife, and their ten children can be found online in The Family of Pieter Brouwer and Petronella Kleyn, and at the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

One published article with some incorrect information regarding Pieter Brouwer needs to be mentioned. In the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 95, no. 4 (1964) pages 193-196, is an article by Mrs. John Spell, titled "Relief Receipts in New Netherland." The subject of the article focuses around the relief given to Uldrick Kleyn and Beafje Pieters, Pieter Brouwer's father-in-law and mother-in-law. On page 196, the author notes that Pieter was given only three shillings for reasons of "disobedience" in the 1692 will of his father (which is accurate) but then states that Pieter "retaliated" by naming his eldest son Uldrick, for his father-in-law, rather then naming him Adam, for his own father. Unfortunately, Mrs. Snell has the chronology for this case backwards. Pieter's eldest son, Uldrick, was likely born about 1673 (he married in 1698), and was probably about 19 or 20 years old when Adam Brouwer wrote his will and declared his son Pieter to have been "disobedient."  Perhaps it was Adam who was doing the retaliating for the naming snub, but honestly, that is something we can never know with certainty. Adam did not state the action of disobedience committed by Pieter. Adam also called out his daughter Aeltje and son Jacob for "disobedience" and at least in the case of Jacob, who did name a son Adam, the reason must have been something entirely different than a disagreement over the naming of a child.
Mrs. Snell also states that "Pieter and Pieternella are buried in the churchyard besides 'the Church on the Green' at Hackinsack." She gives no source for this statement, and to my knowledge there is no record of burial for either Pieter Brouwer or his wife, Petronella Kleyn, in the Hackensack church records. It is doubtful they are buried there.

To date, four descendants of Pieter Brouwer have participated in the Brewer DNA Project. The lineages of these participants can be found online through the Pieter Brouwer Chart link on the Adam Brouwer Group DNA Results Page.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because of spamming issues, all submitted comments are moderated. Your comment is appreciated, but it will not appear online until it has first been reviewed. All relative comments will be sent through. Comments of a commercial nature will be blocked. It may take as little as a few hours or as long as a few days for submitted comments to appear online. Please do not resend the same comment. Thank you.